Domiciliary care workers in Haringey have launched the largest ever legal claim against the care sector over minimum wages.
The 17 care workers claim to have been paid less than half the minimum wage by contractor Servacare.
The workers, who claim they were paid were as little as £3.27 an hour, are being backed by Unison.
Unison general secretary Dave Prentis said: “The government, local councils and the care companies all know that social care is in a dire state, that there’s not enough money to pay for the care that’s needed.
“And with everyone living longer the situation is going to get worse. The blame for the social care crisis must be laid at the government’s door.”
Mr Prentis called on the government to make more money available to councils so that were not forced into cutting care costs.
The Haringey care workers say they were on duty 24 hours a day, a claim disputed by Servacare.
Thinktank Resolution Foundation has estimated that 160,000 care workers in England and Wales are not being paid the national living wage.
Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs announced last year that it would be investigating whether the big six care providers were paying the minimum wage.